Parent Summit: Celebrating Parent Leadership, Creating Healthier Schools
June 14, 2010
By Guillermo Gomez
Recently, Parents United for Healthy Schools held its 4th Annual Parent Summit, “Creating Healthier Schools Through Parent Leadership in Chicago Public Schools.” More than 200 parents representing 40 school-based wellness teams participated. The summit was a reflection of the positive changes that are taking place in Chicago Public Schools (CPS) through school wellness teams and parent involvement.
This year’s summit was a celebration filled with sones jarochos music and dancing along with parent testimonials that highlighted the rewards of long years of work developing school wellness teams. We recognized two young students, now in high school, who demonstrated feisty leadership advocating for recess at their schools. Six parents from Little Village Academy were recognized for winning their local school council elections on a wellness platform. And two schools, McCormick and Lowell Elementary, were recognized for their school wellness team’s incorporation of recess as a SIPAAA goal.
Parents also celebrated two major accomplishments:
After years of parent advocacy for recess, the CPS central office sent a letter in March 2010 to all principals in support of recess and its positive benefits, strongly encouraging all principals to include recess as a SIPAAA goal.
CPS also announced new nutrition standards for school food beginning in the 2010-2011 school year, providing healthier meals to all students. Under the new standards, school meals will meet or exceed the gold standard of the HealthierUS School Challenge that First Lady Michelle Obama is encouraging schools to take on.
Parents also announced the Go for the Gold Campaign as a goal for next year. The Go for the Gold campaign is an initiative to improve school food and fitness in Chicago by supporting school efforts to meet the HealthierUS School Challenge. This program will improve student access to healthy meals, nutrition education and physical activity.
HSC is thrilled to support and celebrate the tremendous accomplishments of these parents, students, and school wellness teams. Stay posted for more updates!